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What to Expect From Universal Orlando Resort’s Newest Attraction, DreamWorks Land

It's a big day for fans of Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Trolls as you can see their worlds brought to life at Universal Orlando's DreamWorks Land. 

By Tyler McCarthy

It’s a big day for anyone traveling to Universal Orlando Resort as its newest attraction, DreamWorks Land, is officially open for all to see. If you or your kids are a fan of the beloved animated franchises Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Trolls (not to mention a few surprises from other movies), this is simply a can’t-miss destination. 

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You and your kids are sure to be stunned the moment you walk in and see Shrek’s famous swamp come to life. It’s then you’ll realize you’ve only scratched the surface of what this new, playful land, located within the Universal Studios Orlando park, has to offer. NBC Insider got a chance to preview the attraction before its opening, so we’ve got all the details on what you can expect below. 

A tree house in Dreamworks Land at Universal Studios Orlando

Have a chat with Shrek and Kung Fu Panda characters

This isn’t your average meet-and-greet with a lifesize, albeit silent, character from a movie that you may be used to. When you enter DreamWorks Land and go to Shrek’s swamp, for example, you’ll be greeted by none other than Donkey, who will be able to see you and talk to you and your family directly. He sounds exactly like he does in the movies so his greeting will be unmistakable and your chat will be unforgettable. 

Another character you’ll be able to interact with directly is Po from Kung Fu Panda when you head to the back of DreamWorks Land to his Kung Fu Village (where you may get a little wet — or a lot wet — depending on where you choose to stand). Once there, you’ll step up to the Po Live screen where the Panda will show up and talk to the entire crowd before leading them on a group kung fu lesson… assuming his cousin Ling-Ling doesn’t get into too much mischief. 

Po's area in Dreamworks Land from Kung Fu Panda in Universal Studios Orlando

“When they come to DreamWorks Land, they’re going to be able to do so many different things,” said Dean Orion, Creative Director for the new attraction. “We really focused on creating fun and maximizing fun every way we could. There’s a lot of characters, lots of shows, lots of meet and greets and there’s lots of different interactivity from physical interactivity to waterplay to interacting with digital characters like in Po Live!” 

Dance and sing with DreamWorks Characters at Illumination Celebration

A quick walk through the Trolls section of the park will take you to the Illumination Celebration theater where you’ll take a seat in the circular room and enjoy a show about two young friends, one of whom has lost his imagination. So, what better way to spark it again than going back to the place they played as children? You and your family will watch as master puppeteers bring characters from Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Trolls and more to life as they help the two friends recapture the magic they once had. You’ll get a chance to sing and dance along with them in a roughly 20-minute musical, puppet, and dance theatrical experience that’s simply unforgettable. 

A Shrek show at Dreamworks Land at Universal Orlando

“‘Love letter’ is a great word for it,” Orion said of the many ways they brought these characters to life. “Because these properties, these characters are so beloved by so many people. So, to take those worlds and those stories, it was kind of a no-brainer to create a space where it feels like you’re stepping through the movie screen and into that world, that’s really what the goal was from day one.” 

A Trolls-themed roller coaster for all ages

The sign for the Trollercoaster at Universal Orlando Studios

Interactivity and imagination-sparking character meet-ups are fun and all, but this is still a theme park. So, let’s talk about the new ride you can enjoy at DreamWorks Land, the Trollercoaster. For those wondering, this ride won’t take you upside down. In fact, it’s pretty friendly for both kids and adults who may be a little afraid of rides. Never too high up, never too disorienting, but still the maximum amount of thrills for the whole family to enjoy.

Like everything in DreamWorks Land, the rollercoaster is full of Trolls immersion. The reason you’re careening through the park so fast is to avoid the spiders looking to stop you and your family from getting to enjoy the magic that is all things Trolls! Fortunately, you're way too quick for them. 

Fun for kids and adults alike at DreamWorks Land

After you’ve met your favorite character and escaped the spiders on the Trollercoaster, the grown-ups can sit back and relax with some of the one-of-a-kind food options (a waffle stuffed with pizza toppings, for example) while the kids enjoy multiple playgrounds themed after the DreamWorks movies smattered all over the park. Perhaps the grandest is Shrek’s Swamp for Little Ogres, where kids can play and interact with even more characters. Or, if you’re looking to beat the heat, head on over to the Kung Fu Panda village where there are a lot of places to get wet and cool off. A word to the wise, if you hear a gong, look up because you may be about to get drenched! 

DreamWorks Land is now open at Universal Orlando Resort, so what are you waiting for? Go have some fun!